Root Canal Therapy
Keep your tooth, don’t lose it
Root Canal Therapy
‘’Root Canal Therapy’’ (or ‘RCT”) are three words that unfortunately strike fear into a lot of people’s hearts. The aim of RCT is to retain your tooth.
In the past we did not have the benefit of technologies like operating microscopics or specialised antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medications. So, regrettably RCTs have developed somewhat of a bad reputation.
Now with advanced techniques and instruments a Root Canal Therapy can give you a good result in terms of keeping your tooth. And in most cases you won’t feel a thing.
What’s In A Tooth?
Inside each of your teeth there are nerve and blood vessels called the ‘pulp’ of your tooth. It this tissue that keeps your tooth alive – what we term ‘vital’.
When your tooth is painful it can sometimes mean that the pulp is severely inflamed or infected. This can happen if you have a deep cavity (dental decay), a deep filling (one that is close to the pulp) or trauma – like a fall.
Unfortunately, when the pulp becomes involved, the only two treatment options available for your tooth are – Root Canal Therapy or extraction of your tooth.
Microscopically, the internal anatomy of the pulp chamber and root canal(s) of a tooth is extremely complex.
Check out these teeth inside out…
In the days before operating microscopes we all liked to think that the anatomy inside of a tooth was pretty basic.
Now with the use of microscopes we understand in reality there can be any number of canals present inside a tooth. Even lateral canals are there, like interconnecting channels and tunnels of virtually any size.
It’s literally a microscopic labyrinth inside a tooth.
Root Canal Clean Up
The aim of the game in Root Canal Therapy is to clean and shape the canals to receive an unreactive filling material. To seal the canals and prevent leakage into the canals with moisture and bacteria.
In principle a Root Canal Therapy is no different to any other preparation and restoration it’s just that it’s all inside out.
A Root Canal Therapy is a multi visit procedure typically take 2-3 visits to complete.
At Your New Dentist we are pleased to offer RCT treatments to our patients. It is vitality important that the RCT procedure is carried out to the highest standard at each stage.
There may be some cases where Your New Dentist will refer you to see a Specialists Endodontist. An Endodontist is a Specialist who has advanced skills and experience in Root Canal Therapy. They use operating microscopes and have high level skills and experience to provide you with a high quality end result especially with those tricky cases.
At Your New Dentist, if we are ever in doubt about what’s best for you, we think about what we would want for a family member. Sometimes this means a referral to a Specialist is the best standard of care for you.
Notes & Questions
Post Op Instructions
- It is normal that for the first 48hours AFTER any Root Canal Therapy you may experience a level of mild discomfort.
Antibiotics and Endodontics.
- Antibiotics are only required when there’s an active infection – that is, in the case of swelling.
- When it comes to antibiotics and Root Canal Therapy (and dentistry in general) they are a supportive treatment NOT a treatment in themselves. Their effect could be seen in some cases as purely PLACEBO.
- At Your New Dentist we have a responsibility to ensure we are using antibiotics appropriately and not contributing to the world-wide misuse and over-prescription of antibiotics. Only a small number of Root Canal Therapy cases will require the support of antibiotics.
- Antibiotics are not pain killers.
- Ibuprofen and Paracetamol provide effective pain relief and you will receive a personalised post-op care plan to ensure you remain comfortable throughout your recovery.
What about restoring a tooth that has had Root Canal Therapy?
- A common story unfortunately experienced by some patients in the past was “I had root canal therapy and it was crap.. the tooth just crumbled away afterwards.”
- At Your New Dentist we assess whether your tooth can be restored before proceeding with treatment. Unfortunately, some teeth are so compromised that even Root Canal Therapy is not predictable. We see RCT as an important investment and if we assess your tooth to be unrestorable we may advise you that removal of your tooth is a better spend of your hard earned money.
- If the tooth is able to be retained long term your RCT investment is best protected by an Indirect restoration – such as a crown which is very durable and gives the treatment it’s best chance of success.
Do you have a question about Root Canal Therapy Treatment? Call Your New Dentist today – let’s see if we can’t clear up any confusion or concerns you might have about whether RCT is the treatment for you.